STAGS IMPRESS IN DRAW WITH CHAMPIONSHIP MK DONS
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Milton Keynes Dons
Nathan Thomas 45. Powell 58.
Attendance: 1346 (38 from Milton Keynes)
Date: 21 July 2015
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with MK Dons at the One Call Stadium in the first home pre-season friendly. MK Dons were promoted to the Championship last season and Adam Murray had said before the game that he didn’t expect Mansfield to see much of the ball and it would be a game to focus on defending. As it turned out, Mansfield defended pretty well, closing down quickly and giving MK Dons no space or time on the ball, and yet Mansfield also saw a lot of the ball, creating more chances than MK Dons and deserving of at least the draw that resulted. Not that the result mattered, we know that from last season’s pre-season.
Mansfield took the lead on 45 minutes with an excellent curling strike from Nathan Thomas from the edge of the box. That came after Matt Green had had a goal disallowed for offside, though he showed he hasn’t lost his clinical finish in rounding the keeper and slotting home. MK Dons equalised on 58 minutes with a great turn of speed from Jordan Powell whose first shot was saved by Scott Shearer, but Powell knocked in the rebound. Mansfield should have won it with a glorious chance for Jack Thomas in the last 10 minutes which he put over the bar. Overall a great workout for the Stags and no surprise that Adam Murray was chuffed after the game with how it went.
It was the first sight of the new kit, and with the expected squad numbers on the back. I thought it looked smart. Adam Murray had switched the dugouts around, so the home dugout is nearer the North Stand. News before the game from Paul Broughton that the new scoreboard should be in place by the end of August, on the Bishop Street side, at the North stand end.
The Stags set up with Matt Green on his own up front, and a 5 man midfield behind him. Westcarr was on the right and Nathan Thomas on the left, with Jack Thomas in the most advanced role. The back four saw a return for Krystian Pearce, who had picked up an injury at Tamworth.
Stags team (4-5-1):
Nicky Hunt, Lee Collins (captain), Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning;
Craig Westcarr, Adam Chapman, Chris Clements, Jack Thomas, Nathan Thomas;
REPORT TO FOLLOW IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mansfield Town hold MK Dons in first home friendly
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas, Tuesday 21 July 2015
New-look Mansfield Town delighted the One Call Stadium faithful with some attractive football and a 1-1 draw with Championship new boys Milton Keynes Dons in tonight’s first home friendly.
Both sides played easy-on-the-eye football, though some of the first half tackling was still full-blooded.
Stags boss Adam Murray said he wanted to concentrate on his side’s defending against a Dons side expected to dominate.
In the end Stags more than had their fair share of possession and even took the lead through another spectacular finish from Nathan Thomas just before the break.
But Daniel Powell levelled matters on 58 minutes after keeper Scott Shearer had blocked his initial effort.
Despite a string of changes, Mansfield - with an unnamed trialist central defensive substitute on the field after the break - continued to defend well against their illustrious opponents, who were reduced to long range shots, and Nathan Thomas even wasted a chance near the end to snatch a home win.
Stags created the first danger on seven minutes when Nathan Thomas made himself available with a rehearsed run into the box from a Clements corner from the left and chipped a cross to the far post that was just too high for Green to reach.
On 16 minutes, soon after an angry clash with McFadzean, an energised Green had the ball in the Dons’ net after racing onto a return pass from Clements and rounding Martin but adjudged offside.
On 18 minutes Milton Keynes threatened for the first time as Church beat the offside trap only to see his finish blocked by a great challenge from Collins.
Although the football was attractive to watch, there were some thunderous non pre-season tackles flying in and Kay was rightly booked on 33 minutes for diving in and catching Clements very late.
Chances had been sparse at either end though within a couple of minutes Lewington headed well over from a Dons corner, then Nathan Thomas curled a low 20-yard effort wide for Mansfield.
On 42 minutes Carruthers played a return pass to Spence, whose low finish ended up in the home sidenetting.
However, Stags were ahead in style in the 45th minute. Clements rescued Green’s overhit cross from the right and fed Nathan Thomas, who cut into the box on the left and curled a brilliant unstoppable finish under the far angle.
But Mansfield were almost caught admiring their work as seconds later Baker crossed from the right and Powell stole in to lift a great chance over the bar from 10 yards.
Shearer at last had a shot in anger to save on 57 minutes as he got down to block Baker’s low effort after Benning had initially given the ball away.
But the Dons were level a minute later as a through ball found Powell rampaging into the box on the right. Shearer blocked his first shot but he slotted the follow-up under the keeper.
The substitutions began on 65 minutes with Stags making three changes including an unnamed central defensive trialist.
As the subs flowed on and off, Shearer was always behind a bending Carruthers effort from distance and a stinging effort from Baker.
Seven minutes from time Jack Thomas wasted a decent chance as he hurried a first time finish well over as the ball rolled to him when he had more time than he thought to pick his spot and hit the target.
STAGS: Shearer, Benning (Conor Green 75), Pearce, Collins (trialist 65), Chapman (McGuire 75), Clements (Fitzpatrick 75), Matt Green (Beardsley 65), Westcarr (Lambe 65), Nathan Thomas (Dwyer 70) Hunt (Shires 88), Jack Thomas.
MK DONS: Martin, Lewington, McFadzean (Walsh 70), Kay, Baker, Potter (Bowditch 70), Reeves (Rasulo 81), Church (Jennings 81), Spence (Hodson 70), Carruthers, Powell.
REFEREE: Gary Sutton.
Report: Mansfield Town 1-1 Dons
The Dons continued their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw at Sky Bet League 2 side Mansfield Town.
Karl Robinson’s men fell behind to a stunning strike from Nathan Thomas but Daniel Powell equalised in the second half in another good run-out.
The opening chance of the evening fell to Darren Potter, making his first appearance of pre-season on home soil, but he dragged his 20-yard shot wide of the post on nine minutes.
Read more at http://www.mkdons.com/news/article/report-mansfield-town-1-1-dons-2561961.aspx#syDGi3OV203pch8C.99
Mansfield grew into the game and Matt Green had the ball in the back of the net not long after but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
At the other end, Simon Church saw a shot well blocked from just inside the box after a clever run before Carl Baker was crowded out in the Stags’ box.
The Dons were looking more likely as the half went on and only some fantastic last-ditch defending from Krystian Pearce denied Church an almost-certain opening goal.
But it was the hosts who took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Thomas curled home a stunning 25-yard effort into the top right-hand corner.
Baker stung the palms of Scott Shearer with a low drive in the opening exchanges of the second half, but there was nothing the keeper could do just before the hour mark.
Powell was the man to equalise for the Dons, turning the ball home at the second attempt after initially being freed down the right.
Joe Walsh, Lee Hodson and Dean Bowditch were all introduced with 20 minutes remaining - Jordan Spence, Kyle McFadzean and Potter making way.
They were joined by Giorgio Rasulo and Dale Jennings, who replaced Ben Reeves and Church, but it was one of the starters, Baker, who was the next to test Shearer with a drive from distance with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The Dons were camped in their opponents' half late on but they couldn’t find a further breakthrough against a stubborn home defence.
MK Dons: Martin; Spence (Hodson 69), McFadzean (Walsh 69), Kay, Lewington; Potter (Bowditch 69), Carruthers; Baker, Reeves (Rasulo 80), Powell; Church (Jennings 80).
Unused subs: Cropper, Tshimanga.
Goal: Powell (59).
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